Free rifle events are governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules. In Canada there are both prone only events and three position (3P) events (prone, standing and kneeling). Free rifle events are open to men and women, adults and juniors. This type of competition is also known as “Olympic Free Rifle” and/or “match rifle”.
During the “standing” course of fire the rifle is held and fired unsupported by any sling or other means. However, between shots the rifle can be rested and reloaded on a stand. During the kneeling and prone phases of 3-P shooting, the rifle may be supported by one arm and a sling.
Free rifle competitors use a .22 calibre rim-fire precision target rifle. These rifles are highly specialized with multiple adjustment to fit the rifle to the athlete and can be extremely expensive. Only aperture sights are permitted, optics such as telescopic sights are prohibited. In addition to their rifles competitors will typically wear a heavy canvas or leather jacket to provide support to the upper body in order to hold the rifle unsupported (except for the rifle sling in keeling or prone positions). Athletes will also use mats and kneeling rolls to provide comfort; and spotting scopes (if the range does not have an electronic scoring system). For three position competitions leather and canvas boots and shooting pants will also be worn.